Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, Bampton in rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. Note: In February 2020, on jtns' tenth birthday, I stopped posting to this blog. It is now a contained work of life-writing about ten years of my life. Frank, 21 February 2020.

New blog: morethoughtsnstuff.com.

Sunday 17 August 2014

end of summer school dinner, great assignments, working towards closed week, onions and shallots, autumnal, first pink fir apples

‎Summer school ended this week.

Lovely dinner at Exeter College high table on Friday night, followed by the presentation of the certificates to the students.

Really enjoyed catching up with colleagues that evening, as well as seeing the students. A terrific group this year. It was a pleasure to read their assignments.

The week after next is closed week at the library, which I'm looking forward to. Busy times preparing for this, though - so often the case that you have to work extra hard to take time off.

Spent a couple of hours on the allotment this afternoon. A strong wind up there but warm too. Lifted the onions and shallots and put them in the shed to dry. Then dug over the ground, creating a decidedly autumnal patch (a similarly autumnal scene above photographed while dog-walking through the harvested fields this morning). Also planted some ‎winter carrots and fed the runners and courgettes.

A treat was digging the first pink fir apples. For lunch, I boiled some for a quarter-of-an-hour before roasting them for twenty-five minutes in rapeseed oil, finely-chopped lightly-fried onions and basil‎ and the tiniest crunch of sea salt. Deliciously nutty (oniony and basily).

(Saw the heron above btw on the Oxford canal last week. He was standing beside a narrowboat that had stained-glass windows of kingfishers. Seemed appropriate somehow.)

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